Things are buzzing all over town! Bees love warm weather, and every day that the thermometer inches its way upward, the bees happiness increases. For that matter, so does mine. Bees have been victims of a bad rap. It’s time to set the record straight and vindicate these hardworking little guys. A bee is responsible for every bite of crunchy apple, each luscious cherry, pears, oranges- you name it, some bee should be thanked for making it all happen! That isn’t even getting into the subject of honey!
Honey is simply the purest form of food in existence. Did you know that it will never spoil? The honeycombs are put into a spinner to extract the honey, and then it is put into jars. That’s all. No additives, no processing- the bees do all the work! The honey at the Farmers Market is kept in a warming cupboard. It looks like a cooler, but it is kept at a constant temperature of 72 degrees. This is raw honey, containing all of the nutrients and health benefits that make honey the perfect food. Pasteurized honey, on the other hand, has been heated, and the nutritional value is almost non-existent.
If your honey gets chilled and becomes granulated, you can gently heat it again to recapture that exquisite golden liquid.
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I love honey and I also love cheese. Hmm. I like pecans a lot too. What would happen if I tried the three together? A new recipe is born!
Try this for a quick lunch;
One slice of good French Bread, toasted
two Tblp. of Feta Cheese
6 pecan halves, chopped
Honey- enough to cover the cheese lightly
Assemble your open face sandwich , finish by drizzling the honey on top.
Now I’m wondering how to improve upon perfection- maybe some craisins scattered in there?
How about a peanut butter/banana/ honey sandwich? Another family favorite!
For pure indulgence, nothing beats a hot biscuit slathered with butter and then dipped into honey. Cooked carrots glazed with nutmeg and honey are superb, and just about any cut of Pork tastes even better with honey!
The beekeepers from the Farmers Market provide us with several varieties of honey, and it is surprising how distinctly each flavor of Honey differs from another. We have blackberry, raspberry, clover, snowberry, and mountain wildflower! We keep bottles open for taste testing, just ask for a sample if you are trying to decide which honey to buy.
Keep in mind that honey is twice as sweet as sugar ( and umpteen times healthier!) So when cooking with honey replace one cup of sugar with ½ cup of honey, and decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by one fourth cup for every cup of honey.
I promised to let you know as soon as the delectable Spooner Farms Strawberries hit town, and (drum roll) they arrive on Wednesday!! The Hoquiam Farmers Market and the Spooner Berries stand on East Wishkah will be filled with one of the finest fruits to ever grace a dessert table. Personally, I can do a lot of damage to a flat of strawberries by nibbling on them, and sometimes that doesn’t leave enough for the shortcake. Oh! did I mention Strawberry Shortcake? Yup, Nancy will be baking fresh biscuits Wednesday morning. We try to keep a supply of whipping cream on hand also, in order to slip into that comfy one stop shopping category. All you have to do is keep your fingers out of the strawberry flat and manage to make it home with enough of the berries to build a shortcake for the rest of the family!
You may have noticed that once again, I start the menu planning with dessert. Works every time.
Abel Rios, produce provider extraordinaire, has the veggies you need to balance out your meal. This week he has brought crisp fresh Asparagus, snappy Snow Peas, Cabbage, Walla Walla Sweet Onions ( green tops on)and Red Cherries. I highly recommend buying or making extra biscuits so that you can serve them with butter and honey.
For you coffee drinkers out there, Erik has marked down all of his whole roasted coffee beans this week. Just scoop some into a bag, mark the sale price and we’ll weigh them for you. My shameful secret is that I do not drink coffee. But if I did, I bet it would taste great with a spoonful of honey added in! It certainly is a welcome addition to my ladylike cups of tea.
My final word on the subject of honey is Candles. Our candlemaker ,Jenny, makes the very finest pure, unscented, beeswax long burning candles. Otherwise known as the sure road to romance. I believe that it is a scientific fact that no one has ever been known to rush through a meal when it is accompanied by candlelight. Add some gentle music, cloth napkins ( don’t ask me why, but they add to the romance factor!) perhaps a glass of wine- even if it’s just you and the cat at the table, the meal will be transformed and elegant. The candlelight may also allow you to sneak an extra strawberry off of someone’s plate without being spotted.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market located at 1958 Riverside, open Wed. Thru Sun., Deidra’s Deli serves lunch Mon. Thru Fri.